Impact of phosphoproteomics in the era of precision medicine for prostate cancer

Johnny R. Ramroop, Mark N. Stein, Justin M. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men in the United States. While androgen deprivation therapy results in tumor responses initially, there is relapse and progression to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Currently, all prostate cancer patients receive essentially the same treatment, and there is a need for clinically applicable technologies to provide predictive biomarkers toward personalized therapies. Genomic analyses of tumors are used for clinical applications, but with a paucity of obvious driver mutations in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, other applications, such as phosphoproteomics, may complement this approach. Immunohistochemistry and reverse phase protein arrays are limited by the availability of reliable antibodies and evaluates a preselected number of targets. Mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics has been used to profile tumors consisting of thousands of phosphopeptides from individual patients after surgical resection or at autopsy. However, this approach is time consuming, and while a large number of candidate phosphopeptides are obtained for evaluation, limitations are reduced reproducibility, sensitivity, and precision. Targeted mass spectrometry can help eliminate these limitations and is more cost effective and less time consuming making it a practical platform for future clinical testing. In this review, we discuss the use of phosphoproteomics in prostate cancer and other clinical cancer tissues for target identification, hypothesis testing, and possible patient stratification. We highlight the majority of studies that have used phosphoproteomics in prostate cancer tissues and cell lines and propose ways forward to apply this approach in basic and clinical research. Overall, the implementation of phosphoproteomics via targeted mass spectrometry has tremendous potential to aid in the development of more rational, personalized therapies that will result in increased survival and quality of life enhancement in patients suffering from metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberFEB
StatePublished - Feb 16 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Ramroop, Stein and Drake.


  • Clinical trials
  • Kinase inhibitors
  • Kinases
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Phosphoproteomics
  • Prostate cancer
  • Signaling pathways
  • Targeted mass spectrometry


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